Tate_04-2019
The Music Column

Opera Near & Far

My relationship with Barnes & Noble is fraught with emotion simply because it is a big bookstore, among other things.  And I am one of those types—an inveterate reader—who is easily hooked.  I was once embarrassed when a lady told me that she had caught herself reading soup-can labels: As one who had done the same, I managed to keep a straight face and not to volunteer any such truth about myself.  Why confess precipitately when the truth might come in handy later on?  In the meanwhile, I am rather like a drug addict just pretending to be looking for some aspirin.

Now that I have attained to a somehow youthful state of Old Age, I have discovered all sorts opportunities and challenges, and many of these are at Barnes & Noble, as they used to be at the disappeared Borders.  There is the problem of the collapse of the recorded music industry, particularly as far as classical music is concerned, so that today even a mega bookstore has little to offer in the way of compact discs.  And there are other such problems, one of which was instituted by Barnes & Noble itself: The magazines for sale are also offered for reading on the spot, with a comfortable bench as well.  But why would the inquisitive reader buy a magazine when he can read it on the spot?  And there are magazines that appeal to many levels of curiosity and fascination.  There are magazines for women and for men, and even...

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